Caribbean islands receive $50 million clean energy boost
A storm-resistant clean energy plant is to be built in Antigua and Barbuda to help the twin-island nation recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and provide residents with clean, cost-effective and sustainable power.
The Green Barbuda project will receive $50 million joint funding from the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Partnership Fund, which comprises the UAE, New Zealand and the Caribbean Development Group Fund, and will be implemented by Masdar. The fund is supporting projects across the region.
The project will include the construction of an 800 kW diesel power plant and a 720 kWh hybrid solar power plant, as well as an 863 kWh battery system to store excess electricity generated.
Site preparation, network impact assessment, and geotechnical studies have been completed for the project, which will support Antigua and Barbuda's efforts to recover sustainably and help create new jobs.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: "As the world faces economic recession from the impact of coronavirus, investments such as this help pave the way for recovery domestically and in partner countries."
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: "Delivering on this complex engineering project will provide a welcome boost to Antigua and Barbuda’s economy in these challenging times and help the nation realize its sustainable development goals. The Green Barbuda project will demonstrate the role renewable energy plays in accelerating economic growth and bringing tangible benefits to local communities, such as lowering their reliance on expensive fossil fuels, creating jobs and building skills and capacity."
Sir Robin Yearwood, Minister with Responsibility for the Energy Portfolio in Antigua and Barbuda, said: "The Green Barbuda project has demonstrated the commitment of the Government and the people of the United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, and New Zealand, as well as the CDF in advancing climate resilient energy initiatives. This innovative project provides a model for other islands and communities as they tackle in an integrated manner the need to develop their renewable energy resources in the context of the global climate crisis."